Sarah McKinley is all over the news for asking a 911 dispatcher’s permission to shoot the bastard who was breaking into her home. CBS has the details on the crime itself. News OK has more info on her life. All the news sources are going with the story that the perps were targeting McKinley’s home with the goal of stealing her very recently-deceased husband’s painkillers, but to be honest, I think they were after more than just the drugs. They may have been looking for drugs, and reasonably assumed that since Kenneth McKinley had just died of lung cancer, there probably would be some prescription painkillers in the house, but I think it wasn’t just the drugs:
Though McKinley didn’t piece things together until after the shooting, she’d had several strange run-ins with 24-year-old Justin Shane Martin. According to CBS News, her mother says that about two years ago, she noticed Martin following McKinley around at a rodeo. Recently the two bumped into each other at a convenience store, and on the night of her husband’s funeral he showed up to her door and introduced himself as a neighbor, but McKinley didn’t let him in. In the past month McKinley had started locking her doors because she thought someone had moved things around in her home, but her mother thought she was imagining things due to the stress of her husband’s illness.
Also? Four of her dogs turned up dead within the last month. I think we can take her word for it that they didn’t just die in the cold.
Martin and Stewart may very well have been a couple of junkies looking for a fix, but it also sounds like Martin was stalking Sarah McKinley for quite some time before he and Stewart showed up at her mobile home with knives. If she hadn’t shot him, I suspect Justin Shane Martin would have done considerably worse to Sarah than just steal her late husband’s pain meds.
The practical upshot is that since they did not wait for her to take the baby and visit her mother before they paid her a visit, Justin Shane Martin is dead by her shotgun, Sarah McKinley is recognized as having acted in fully lawful self-defense, and Dustin Louis Stewart is being tried for his accomplice’s murder. The logic of the charges is basically that it’s not Sarah McKinley’s fault that she shot Martin when he busted through her door with a hunting knife in hand, it’s Martin’s and Stewart’s fault for fucking with the wrong 18-year-old widowed mother. Since Martin is dead, they can’t very well charge him with anything, so they’re charging Stewart for having participated in a crime that he should have known could have gotten someone killed.
Now, Universe? Can you please stop throwing shit at Sarah McKinley? Can you let her and the baby just have a year in which no door has to be barricaded with a couch? I think she’s had enough for at least a few decades.